The Yellows

Under the Weather

Anyone who’s driven to the ER vet with a sick pet will understand exactly how my weekend went.  Poor JoJo is not feeling well, puking and whatnot, and needed tests and fluids and a bland diet.  Up all night Saturday, to the ER vet Sunday, and me sleeping next to her kennel on the kitchen floor.  In the light of Monday morning, and with my vet, we think it’s a combination of stress/separation, me giving her too many treats (bad mama), and a common, treatable parasite.

Watching her heaving and suffering has been excruciating, but there’s also a 35 year old wound that’s been pricked.  When I was 9 my mother and I moved in with my grandparents, and mom got me a puppy from the Humane Society:  my first dog.  A little yellow pup, like the one I have today.  Grandma would not allow the pup in her house, so it stayed on the screened porch.  It had only been about a week when I walked home from 4th grade for lunch to find a stiff puppy.  She’d died of worms (we guessed).  What I remember most about that day is touching my puppy’s unbending legs, and my grandmother grabbing me hard by the arm, telling me to clean myself up, I was going back to school.

And I did.  I spent the afternoon in the nurse’s office.

When I got home at 3:00, my mother had just left for her shift and the pup had disappeared.

Now to the present …

Grandma has been long gone, but I’ve held this against her for 35 years.  When my mother would say to me, “I wish you didn’t hate Grandma,” I often replied, “Grandma was mean.”  As with all of us humans, Grandma was not all bad.  I loved her.  I had many fun times with her.  But she had another side too, a cold, hard side, and no matter how many goods she did after this thing with my puppy, I never got over it.

This weekend, with the constant sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, taking care of my new JoJo, and remembering every detail of that old yellow pup, I can feel how fresh it all remains.  The feel of her grip on my arm.  The long 2 blocks back to school in the sunshine.  The gray cot with no pillow in the nurse’s office.  The disappearance of that first pup.


As for now, I’m sure JoJo will be well soon.  And to end this dreadful tale on an uplifted note, thankfully I have some help from Lea in the TLC department:

12 thoughts on “The Yellows

  1. macdougalstreetbaby

    Poor JoJo! I’m certain she will have a speedy recovery. She’s got the best mommy in the world.

    Your memory brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine how horrible you felt, coming home to find your pup no longer alive. And then to come home a second time to find her physically gone must have been overwhelming. I’m so sorry.

    1. Teri Post author

      Thanks. I now know, intimately, the view from my kitchen floor. And my poor husband just kept trying to calm me, saying the dog will be fine, etc…., but I could hardly hear him. All the noise in my head and gut about this day and the 35-yrs-ago day, all roiling around in there together.

  2. lauramaylene

    Feel better soon, JoJo! And what a traumatic childhood experience you had. No wonder you held it against her. How could you not?

    I recently had to take one of my cats to the emergency vet after he inhaled long sections of ribbon. The vet said the safest bet was to get him to throw it up now instead of risking it getting tangled in his stomach/intestines and requiring surgery (or worse, threatening his life). He was in fine spirits until I crammed him in the carrier and carted him to the vet, where they proceeded to give him all sorts of nasty medicine to make him feel awful and vomit…which he never did. (Apparently, the only time you can get a cat to NOT throw up is when you give him medicine specifically for that purpose.) I felt horrible, both for letting him get anywhere near ribbon and now for doing this to him.

    He finally threw up much of the ribbon at home, but then he wobbled around like an old drunk for 36 hours and I worried he was permanently damaged. Now, thankfully, he’s back to his wide-eyed, insanely energetic self. I’m sure JoJo will be the same shortly. Oh, man. JoJo is just too precious. Cannot. Look. Away.

    1. Teri Post author

      This sounds too familiar, Laura. I’m glad your is okay now!! But that was a long long time to work that ribbon out. Scary.

      I have a love/hate relationship with the ER vet. I love love love that they’re there 24 hrs a day. That’s dedication, and all you see are panicked people and distressed pets. On the other end, they always seem to try to talk me into things I’m sure I don’t need. On Sunday, the ER vet wanted me to leave JoJo there with them all day and overnight. Um, that would be a NO. She’s not “that” deathly sick, I can bring her back if she gets worse. He actually thought I’d leave an already-stressed 9 wk old puppy with strangers????

  3. Downith

    Poor Jojo! But even under the weather she is so darn cute.

    And isn’t it amazing how an event like this can trigger a childhood memory and just like that, you are there.

  4. Lyra

    JoJo’s face as she’s lying by Lea. Love.

    I read this with my own stuff heading to the surface, the parents coming home without my German Shepherd…oh, love, my friend.
    I can only say, “Of Course” and know that you know.

    And you lying on the floor and Mr. Teri trying to make you feel better and yet knowing that you were in a place that he couldn’t touch and yet he was the closest a person could come.

    I know by now JoJo must be feeling better with all of the love (and bland food) a puppy could desire. Girls are always so dramatic…

    1. Teri Post author

      What is it about pets when you’re a kid? There are so many detailed memories of them when so much else fades into the background.

      JoJo is feeling better today, finally. But she’s still not quite herself and I’m sure I’m looking at a long week. What a love bug she is though. It takes all of my restraint not to put in my lap and keep her there 24 hours a day.

  5. amyg

    look at jojo…already digging up well-buried pains in hopes you can better deal with them in the present. he’s doing exactly what my kids did for me; he’s making you face things you thought better left alone. (when they’re not really alone at all, just lurking.)

    so sorry about jojo and am wishing him all the get-well-ness in the world.

    1. Teri Post author

      Sounds like pet therapy to me. And how about those lurkers from childhood that pop up this way, all unannounced.

  6. erikamarks

    Oh, JoJo…You’re in the best hands (and clearly PAWS) possible. Those vet runs are brutal, Teri. I know just how you feel–and when they’re puppies it’s tougher. They are so wee and that vet is SO BIG.

    Hugs and licks from Olive for a speedy recovery.

  7. Deb

    Oh, that little puppy face! I just want to pick it up and cuddle it. And you too. What a horrible experience for a little girl who just lost her new friend. I try with all my might to remember to let my kids feel and give them a squeeze when the bad things happen because I know my reaction will be with them forever.

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